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Two Similar Ellipticals

M87 and NGC5128 are similar.
NGC 5128 is also known as Centaurus A.

Both are giant elliptical galaxies.
Both cores are strong X-ray sources.

Both cores emit jets in opposing directions from the core.

Both cores are assumed to be a SMBH.
However the M87 core was recently imaged to reveal it is a plasmoid (Thornhill has a video).

It is reasonable to conclude Centaurus A is also a plasmoid due to its similarities with M87.

The closest giant elliptical galaxy to Earth is Maffei 1 which is heavily obscured by the Milky Way. Its only useful image is in infrared. I found no X-ray image for Maffei 1.

Because it is so obscured no jets have been observed from Maffei 1.

The compact elliptical galaxy M32 is at the distance of M31, about 2.5 Mly.

From a paper titled 'On the Nature of the X-ray Emission from M32'

is this partial excerpt:

We have obtained the first broad-band X-ray spectra of the nearby compact elliptical galaxy M32 by using the ASCA satellite. The extracted spectra and X-ray luminosity are consistent with the properties of the hard spectral component measured in giant elliptical galaxies believed to originate from X-ray binaries. Two ASCA observations were performed two weeks apart; a 25% flux decrease and spectral softening occurred in the interval. We have also analyzed archival ROSAT HRI data, and discovered that the X-ray emission is dominated by a single unresolved source offset from the nucleus of M32. We argue that this offset combined with the extremely rapid large magnitude variations, and hard X-ray spectrum combine to weakly favor a (single) X-ray binary over an AGN origin for the X-rays from M32. The nuclear black hole in M32 must be fuel-starved and/or accreting from a radiatively inefficient advection-dominated disk.

my comment: M32 has an X-ray source at its nucleus but the source is weak, probably because M32 is a compact elliptical galaxy of type cE2.

M110 is the next furthest elliptical, but is type dE, or a dwarf elliptical. M110 has no X-ray data available.

M105 is another elliptical, still further, and is of type E1 and over 36 Mly away.

from wikipedia:


Messier 105 is known to have a supermassive black hole at its core. The galaxy has a weak active galactic nucleus of the LINER type with a spectral class of L2/T2.


my comment:

A LINER galaxy is one with certain emission lines; as with other galaxies with an AGN, a LINER galaxy is assumed to have an SMBH at the core.

M105 has no X-ray data available.

Chandra X-ray Observatory web site has an album titled ' Photo Album :: Elliptical Galaxies :: May 30, 2014 - Chandra'

shows 4 images of giant elliptical galaxies with a strong X-ray source at their core.

In this small sample of elliptical galaxies, all have an X-ray source at their core.

A possible conclusion from this small sample is most elliptical galaxies have the same core as M87, a plasmoid which is not the same core as in spiral galaxies, the birkelund current Z-pinch.

At this point, using 'all' not 'most' cannot be justified. However if the birkelund current pair creates a magnetic field around this 'line' then rotation seems likely. An elliptical galaxy does not rotate.

Most observed galaxy clusters in the universe have at least one giant elliptical galaxy, accompanied by some number of spiral, lenticular, irregular, and dwarf galaxies. Our Local group has Maffei 1.

Perhaps these different galaxy types have only two different core types.


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